ACCUSED STARTED DRINKING WHEN HE WAS 6-YEARS-OLD
KAMLOOPS - A truck thief who was caught by a remote GPS tracking device will be released from prison and sent to a treatment facility in Prince George.
Jimmy Rossetti, in his early 30s, pleaded guilty to stealing a truck, breaking into a home and assaulting the homeowner, received a suspended sentence in Kamloops Supreme Court today, Aug. 26.
Judge Robert Sewell told Rossetti he was giving the man one last chance at becoming a productive member of society.
Sewell told the court how Rossetti missed out on learning necessary life skills due to his parents' drug and alcohol abuse. His father and uncle began giving him beer at 6-years-old to "help him go to bed."
Rossetti has a long list of convictions, including 12 property offences and eight violent offences.
On Jan. 5, a Kamloops family had parked their brand new white pickup truck in their driveway. When they went outside the next morning, Jan. 6, they discovered it was missing. The vehicle had a GPS system in it which allowed the owner to track the location from a remote device. The owner had yet to use the system and wasn't able to get it working.
Sewell told the court in his decision, that a short time later, a second man heard noise coming from his backyard shed. The man went out to investigate and couldn't get the shed door open. He tried another entrance and found Rossetti inside.
Court heard Rossetti bolted through the backyard toward a truck on the street. The homeowner gave chase and was pepper sprayed twice by Rossetti who hopped into the truck, locked the doors and attempted to hotwire the vehicle. The homeowner tried to break into it using things he found in the truck bed. He wasn't able to get inside and called the police, and Rossetti eventually got away.
Meanwhile, the first victim was able to figure out the GPS system for his stolen truck and determined the vehicle's location. RCMP tracked the truck down and found Rossetti behind the wheel. He admitted to breaking into the second victim's shed, but said he got the truck from his friend who had informed him it was stolen.
This all took place 18 days after Rossetti was released from prison after completing his sentence for an assault causing bodily harm offence in 2012.
Rossetti has been in custody since his arrest on Jan. 6. Crown prosecutor Monica Fras asked for an 18 to 22 month prison sentence, while defence lawyer Jeremy Jensen asked for a suspended sentence so Rossetti could attend Baldy Hughes Therapeutic Community and Farm in Prince George for one year.
"Mr. Rossetti has never really had a chance to develop as a lawful member of society," Sewell said.
He told the court it would be a greater risk to society to keep Rossetti in prison for a few more months, and release him without any program prospects.
Sewell says Rossetti has began making changes while in prison, getting a job as a janitor and completing business courses.
But Sewell told Rossetti the suspended sentence wasn't a "free to go deal."
"You are fortunate in that I have given you one last chance," Sewell said. "Do not for one minute think, Mr. Rossetti, that I am naive."
Rossetti took the opportunity to speak in court, taking responsibility for his actions.
"I'd just like to apologize for my actions and apologize for taking the court's time."
Rossetti will spend an additional two years on probation after he completes his treatment at Baldy Hughes, in which he cannot drink or do drugs and not own a weapon for 10 years.
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